click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Join 400,000 Aish subscribers
Get Email Updates




What is the Purpose of Life?

Jewish thought answers with one word: pleasure.

Published: December 3, 2011


Give Tzedakah! Help Aish.com create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.

Visitor Comments: 21

(17) harry, May 23, 2013 9:08 AM

anybody who wants to know what the purpose of life is should study chassidic philosophy, "pleasure" is not the purpose of life, to become one with our Creator is- if that leads to pleasure then that's great but its not an end in itself...

(16) SusanE, March 5, 2012 7:59 PM

I Don't Understand Everything

So, seeking pleasure is seeking G-d? Seeking a way back to the Garden of pleasure? Finding a way to return to our original purpose and having Torah as our guide to get closer to there again? Making choices throughout our lives and receiving lasting pleasure or 'quick fix' pleasure defines how we did on the choices and if the choices we make bring us closer to G-ds purpose for us? There is a difference between Purpose in life and Meaning of life isn't there? Thank you for the video.

(15) Anonymous, January 13, 2012 3:05 AM

interesting idea not well explained

when you think about life you want the most true/real happiness because everything else is just second best. By thought and logic you get to the conclusion that God is the ultimate reality and the ultimate good and you want to get yourself closer to God (through knowledge of torah and science). Of course as one develops over time he will understand a bigger world picture and he will have humility and understand that it is the whole world that should be coming close to god. This is a good start but he doesn't describe what is this happiness. This is a good start but as one develops this should not be his driving force. Maimonides-the highest aim of man is knowledge of God

(14) Glenn, December 13, 2011 3:06 AM

One thing missing

The purpose of life is to Glorify G-d and to enjoy Him. He is the object not us.

(13) Anonymous, December 11, 2011 8:46 AM

The writer of Ecclesiastes, after denying himself no limits to the pleasure of this world, summed it up with "Revere God and observe His commandments." Rabbi Moshe Zeldman already would know and does that, and for all else who do, he then proceeds with his talk on pleasure. Adding there is a time for everything under the sun. The season of pleasure. 'When Lamech had lived 182 years, he begot a son. And he named him Noah, saying, "This one will provide us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands, out of the very soil that the Divine placed under a curse." Genesis 5:28' As Adam and Eve leave the garden, the Divine tells them the ground will yield thorns and thistles for them. When Noah was born, it was reversed and the ban was lifted and it became seedtime and harvest. At the birth of Noah, they received plows, scythes, hoes, and other tools for working the earth, and these tools made life easier. Which of course produces pleasure. Pleasure being the purpose of life, it's learning the secrets of Creation and the Creator to seek, know, receive, discover, find, and use the right tools to enter into rest(relief) from useless unprofitable toil; to sow wheat and reap wheat, not thorns and thistles. The birth of Noah (his name meaning 'rest') we can now say "the purpose of life is pleasure." To know wisdom. At the end of Ecclesiastes, Koheleth teaches what has been learned, "For this applies to all mankind: that God will call every creature to account for all their conduct, be it good or bad." Seedtime and Harvest, will always be, with the promise spoken, you plant corn, you'll reap corn. What you plant, you will reap. This encouraging speech, is to sow pleasure, out of wisdom, knowing you plant seeds of pleasure, you will reap pleasure, it's a guarantee promise, however, think about what it is you will be reaping from what you have planted before you plant.

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.


  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment
stub
Sign up today!